reply to spewak
Re: Ironic.... Surewest doesn't use Passive Optical Network (PON). In Sacramento at least, they use a Direct-Fiber Active Optical Network (aka Active Ethernet), where each customer has a dedicated fiber strand to the CO. In other words, no nodes like PON.
A change to 1Gbps would be done on existing fiber, and would require replacing ONTs on every house, and potentially extremely expensive upgrades/replacements of fiber routers and switches in their CO. The main issue right now appears the be the cost of 1Gbps fiber routers/switches/modules and the more pressing concern of availability of triple-play 1Gbps Active Ethernet ONTs with 1Gbps Ethernet Ports and POTs. Their current vendor for ONTs, Allied Telesis, doesn't make such an ONT yet. The hybrid 700GE-series ONTs from Calix (who is also a vendor for Surewest, but not for ONTs) appears to be the only decent option I've seen. The question then becomes, "Does Surewest have a contract which requires them to buy Allied Telesis ONTs for X years?". If so, that would be the biggest limiting factor in any switch to 1Gbps which could take place.
HDTV IPTV and internet sharing the same 100Mb/s fiber link, is why we are currently limited to an excessively priced 50Mb/s top-tier internet plan. Despite Surewest's CEO saying they would offer 100Mb/s internet if anybody would buy it, they would never do such a thing on their current 100Mb/s fiber, since it would mean loss triple-play revenues. Such a plan would need to cost more than triple-play combined to be economical to Surewest, but nobody except a business would pay such a high price. That said, competition with residential internet plans 50Mb/s and higher may be what ultimately forces Surewest's upgrade, in order to remain competitive. The problem is, as of yet, Comcast hasn't actively attempted to compete on price or speed with Surewest.